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Judge Issues Restraining Order Against Speaker Haugaard for Misuse of Power

Oh, that wacky goofus Speaker Steve Haugaard! The Sioux Falls Republican thought he’d use his new power to punish Municipal League lobbyist Yvonne Taylor for a column she published eight months ago (grudge much, Steve?) calling him and his fellow extremist ideologues “wackies.” For his abuse of power, he got sued and thumped in court. On Friday, Judge Roberto Lange issued a temporary restraining order restoring Taylor’s access to the House floor for two weeks. Judge Lange says Speaker Haugaard did not appear to be acting in any proper Legislative fashion that would allow him to invoke legislative immunity. Judge Lange also says it’s in the public interest that Taylor be allowed back on the floor

Judge Roberto Lange, order, Taylor v. Haugaard, 2019.01.25.
Judge Roberto Lange, order, Taylor v. Haugaard, 2019.01.25.

Should a guy with a restraining order be allowed to wave a gavel at work? I contend it is further in the public interest that Haugaard step down from the Speakership, if not his Legislative seat, and allow someone who respects free speech to wield the gavel in our temple of democracy.

Beyond Judge Lange’s order, Taylor tells Bob Mercer that, in the settlement the attorney have worked out (but failed to alert Judge Lange to before he issued his restraining order), Haugaard has agreed to pay the Municipal League’s attorney fees.


  1. Dana P 2019-01-28 07:38

    “Haugaard has agreed to pay the Municipal League’s attorney fees”

    Cory, does this mean that Haugaard is writing a personal check? Or are the South Dakota taxpayers going to be picking up this tab?

    Totally agree that Haugaard needs to not be able to wield the gavel anymore. This wasn’t some rookie mistake. This was a reckless abuse of power, plain and simple.

  2. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-01-28 12:47

    Dana, I’m not sure. That’s a really good question for the LRC and for Haugaard at the next crackerbarrel.

  3. bearcreekbat 2019-01-28 13:08

    For the federal court to have jurisdiction in this case Haugaard would have to be sued as a defendant in his official capacity as a state officer. And since Haugaard was acting for the State, the State (taxpayers) pays the attorneys fees under 42 U.S.C. 1988.

  4. mike from iowa 2019-01-28 13:25

    Which very likely explains his cavalier attitude towards other people- he is not financially responsible for what he does.

  5. Debbo 2019-01-28 15:49

    “close-minded legislators.” The judge knows one when he sees one.

  6. John 2019-01-28 16:21

    Bravo & agree its long past the time for the Lincoln/TR/Ike republicans to take back their party from the banana republicans.
    They ought strip Haugaard of the speakership and his committee assignments.

    Finally, belatedly that almost-Iowa-newpaper joins the fray telling the over-paid legislature to stop wasting the time of the SD taxpayers.

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-01-28 23:50

    BCB, thank you for that depressing legal explanation. All the more reason to impeach/expel Haugaard before his ego costs us any more money.

  8. Dana P 2019-01-29 07:59

    Thanks BCB — I was worried that was the case, but wasn’t totally sure. Sigh

  9. leslie 2019-01-29 20:51

    No lose case for sara (worker bee)/lust. Muni league (GOP) sues SOSD. Jason’s staff and outside counsel (likely) waste taxpayer resources. Tax payers for cities or taxpayers for state pay unnecessary lawsuit atty fees/costs. Outrageous GOP SOP. Curious what AG Jason did? Ethics requirement for law makers.

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